‘Annie Live!’ Casts Newcomer Celina Smith In The Lead Role

Taraji P. Henson will also star in the production.

Annie Live! Is coming to the small screen on December 2 and 12-year-old actress Celina Smith has landed the lead role.

On August 24, she told Today about hearing she was chosen to play Annie after a nationwide search, "We were in my mom's room and my team called and they were like, 'What are you going to be doing this October?'"

"I was like, 'I don't know,'" the Atlanta native continued, "and then they were like, 'You're going to be in New York doing Annie Live this October!' and I screamed."

She continued, "It's just so amazing being able to perform with such an iconic cast, and I'm just so excited for this journey to start.”

The NBC production also includes Tituss Burgess, Nicole Scherzinger, Taraji P. Henson and Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks.

Annie follows the story of an orphan adopted by a wealthy New York City man. The iconic song “It’s A Hard-Knock Life” is from the musical, which was famously sampled by Jay-Z in 1998.

Annie Live! premieres Dec. 2 at 8 PM ET on NBC.

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